What’s Luck Got to Do With It by Edward Kleinbard

What's Luc Got to Do With It
Edward Kleinbard

What’s Luck Got to Do With It | How Smarter Government Can Rescue The American Dream by Edward Kleinbard examines the impact of brute luck in life.  

The American dream of equal opportunity is in peril. America’s economic inequality is shocking, poverty threatens to become a heritable condition, and our healthcare system is crumbling despite ever increasing costs.

In this thought-provoking book, Edward D. Kleinbard demonstrates how the failure to acknowledge the force of brute luck in our material lives exacerbates these crises — leading to warped policy choices that impede genuine equality of opportunity for many Americans. What’s Luck Got to Do with It? combines insights from economics, philosophy, and social psychology to argue for government’s proper role in addressing the inequity of brute luck. Kleinbard shows how well-designed public investment can blunt the worst effects of existential bad luck that private insurance cannot reach and mitigate inequality by sharing the costs across the entire risk pool, which is to say, all of us. The benefits, as Kleinbard shares in a wealth of data, are economic as well as social — a more inclusive economy, higher national income, and greater life satisfaction for millions of Americans.

Like it or not, our lives and opportunities are determined largely by luck. Kleinbard shows that while we can’t undo every instance of misfortune, we can offer a path to not just a fairer America, but greater economic growth, more broadly shared.

Edward D. Kleinbard sadly succumbed to cancer shortly after submitting the final manuscript for this book. Until his passing, he was the Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law at the USC’s Gould School of Law, and a Fellow at The Century Foundation. Prior to those appointments, Professor Kleinbard served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, the non-partisan tax resource to Congress, and for more than thirty years in private practice as a renowned international tax expert.

  • ISBN: 9780190943578
  • 320 pages
  • February 8, 2021

Published by:  Oxford University Press